MockQuestions

Robert Half Interview Questions

To help you prepare for a Robert Half job interview, here are 35 interview questions and answer examples.

Robert Half was written by and updated on August 19th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 35

Are you a patient individual? Rate your patience level from 1-10.

How to Answer

Being a recruiter or any professional in the staffing industry requires an immense level of patience. You make many calls every day, wait for candidates to respond, and wait on contracts to be signed. Often, you will be in a significant rush to make a placement before a competing agency beats you to the punch. You will speak to hundreds of candidates every month, all with their personality quirks and potentially low levels of commitment and communication. The interviewer wants to know that, despite all of these challenges, you can remain confident, professional, and patient. Rate your level of patience from 1-10, and be prepared to give an example that backs your rating.

Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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35 Robert Half Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Are you a patient individual? Rate your patience level from 1-10.

      How to Answer

      Being a recruiter or any professional in the staffing industry requires an immense level of patience. You make many calls every day, wait for candidates to respond, and wait on contracts to be signed. Often, you will be in a significant rush to make a placement before a competing agency beats you to the punch. You will speak to hundreds of candidates every month, all with their personality quirks and potentially low levels of commitment and communication. The interviewer wants to know that, despite all of these challenges, you can remain confident, professional, and patient. Rate your level of patience from 1-10, and be prepared to give an example that backs your rating.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I rank my patience level an 8 out of 10. There will always be candidates, clients, and situations that test your patience, and I have room to improve. Recently I had a candidate back out of their accepted job offer on the morning of their start date. Rather than lose my patience, I quickly found a temp for my client and then searched for a new permanent candidate. Of course, I will not work with that candidate again, but that is simply professional boundaries. I would never disrespect someone, or myself, for a situation like that."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "For the past year, I have worked as a temp recruiter, primarily searching for laborers in the warehousing and logistics sector. As you know, the rate of candidates who no-show or do not perform well is very high in these categories. Rather than lose my patience, I keep focused on the needs of my clients. For this reason, I rank my patience level as a 9 out of 10."

  • Behavioral

    2. Tell me about a time you lost a job order or placement to a competitor. How did you react?

      How to Answer

      Very often, you will work on job orders that are not exclusive. This non-exclusivity means that your client may give the same job order to five different staffing agencies, and may the best recruiter win! This situation is especially challenging when you live in a smaller city or if the position requires a particular skill set.

      Robert Half needs to see that you are up for the challenge and that you act gracefully and professionally on the days you don't win. Discuss a situation from the past, highlighting how you reacted and made the best of the situation.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I have one particular client who refuses ever to give exclusivity. Most of the time, their open jobs are shopped out to three other staffing agencies. The most recent order was to find a chemical engineer with 15+ years of experience, which came from a direct competitor of my client. This search was incredibly specific, and a competing agency had already approached many of the candidates I called. I felt behind most of the search and, unfortunately, did not make the final placement. I took the situation for what it was; you win some, and you lose some. I will continue to give priority to this client and offer the best service possible. I'll also ensure that I am displaying the benefits of working with Robert Half by being professional, available, and understanding their needs. Also, I will never stop asking for exclusivity - in hopes that they change their mind one day."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "I made an in-person client call to discuss a few sales openings with a prevalent advertising company in our region. I was eager to win their business and had a lot of great questions prepared for our meeting. Although I felt the meeting went well, the client called me the next day to tell me they gave the business to our competitor because their fees were lower. Our agency keeps integrity in our pricing, so I could not negotiate enough to win the business. I took the situation gracefully because I know that our agency offers much more full-service than the competitor they chose. I ended up hearing back from the client a short time later, expressing that they wanted to give our agency a try after all. It never pays to burn a bridge, and I am so happy that I stuck to my process and remained professional throughout our initial interactions."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    3. When have you had to change a search due to new information from your client?

      How to Answer

      Recruitment projects can change on a dime for a variety of reasons. In the staffing industry, you may find that your client calls off a search entirely after you have poured all of your energy into it for two weeks.

      Other situations may change, such as their ideal background or candidate education. Perhaps the client forgot to mention that the role requires extensive travel or eventual relocation.

      Talk to the interviewer about a time when you had to pivot your search due to new information. Discuss how you reacted and what you did to keep the momentum going. Most of all, Robert Half wants to see that you are adaptable.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Just last month, I had a client who needed to find ten territory sales reps in 60 days. The job order was one of the largest that I had ever taken. The territories had been outlined clearly, which was great. I could call candidates and be very clear with them on the travel expectations and percentage of overnight travel. Partway through my search, the client returned and said that they decided to hire just five people and double up on the territories. I had to call my shortlisted candidates again and ask them if they were open to more extensive travel than originally discussed. Luckily, most of them were open to the idea; however, I did lose three top candidates due to the change. I have learned in the recruitment industry to be flexible and roll with the punches. Constant communication with clients and candidates helps ensure that I won't miss a beat if needs change."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "I had a client who, after interviewing my top three candidates, decided that they only wanted to see candidates with post-secondary degrees. I moved on to seek out and present only candidates with college degrees. The client was happy in the end and ended up choosing the very first candidate I submitted. I am glad that I complied rather than fight the situation because it all worked out well in the end."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    4. If a temporary employee let you down regularly, what would you do?

      How to Answer

      Temporary employment can be a challenge to navigate, especially in industries such as warehousing and logistics. Although these are not major areas Robert Half recruits for, similar categories can also be challenging to fill. These challenges come because:

      - Candidate volume and placements are high
      - Wages are average but competitive
      - Hours can be sporadic
      - Client communication is often lacking due to shift work

      Talk to the interviewer about what you would do if a candidate let you down regularly by being late, no-showing to their assignment, or failing assessments such as a forklift driving skills assessment. Show the interviewer that you have patience and that you are empathetic but firm at the same time.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    5. How much money do you want to earn in this role? What does your ideal pay structure look like?

      How to Answer

      Staffing and recruitment agencies all compensate differently, generally leaning toward what works best for their recruiters based on the type of recruitment they are performing.

      These pay structures include 100% commission, draws against commissions, full salary, a salary-commission blend, and monthly guarantees. Be upfront with the interviewer about your compensation expectations. The clearer you are, the higher the chance that you will get what you need.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    6. Why should Robert Half hire you over our other candidates?

      How to Answer

      This question can be incredibly tough for job seekers to answer. This inquiry requires you to brag about yourself on the fly while choosing compelling items from your career highlight reel.

      Before responding, think to the job posting or job description and the core values of Robert Half. Think about how your soft and hard skills match what the company is looking for in a team member. Mention these skills in your response and show the interviewer how they align with what a person in this role should possess.

      Keep in mind, this question should not be used to give a generic answer like you have 'strong attention to detail.' Focus on factors that are unique to you. Rely on your past achievements and accolades!

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    7. Are you willing to work outside of the regular 9-5?

      How to Answer

      In staffing, you may be asked to work outside of a typical Monday to Friday work week, depending on your clients and candidate needs. If you have a candidate who cannot interview during standard work hours, you may need to conduct a phone interview at 7 PM to accommodate their needs. If you do temp staffing, you may have warehouse clients who call you at 6 AM to report a worker who did not show up for their early-morning shift.

      Many recruiters have their cell phones on 24/7 and check their email on weekends. Show Robert Half that you are willing to accommodate the varying needs of your clients and candidates.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    8. Have you ever worked with a staffing agency, from a job seekers' perspective?

      How to Answer

      If you have ever experienced staffing from a job seeker's perspective, you can understand the recruitment process from a variety of perspectives. This experience allows you to empathize with job seekers who may be nervous working with a recruiter and their clients.

      Talk to the interviewer about your experience working with a staffing agency. If you do not have this experience, that is okay too! Most importantly, you show Robert Half you have the empathy and patience needed to work with candidates who do not understand the benefits of working with a staffing agency.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Education

    9. How do you continue to educate yourself, as an expert in staffing?

      How to Answer

      Continued education is critical in the staffing industry as regulations and technology change all of the time. Robert Half seeks to hire people who are committed to growth within their profession. Some staffing agencies may even pay for continued education opportunities, so feel free to ask the interviewer if this is an option at Robert Half. Talk to the interviewer about how you plan to educate yourself within staffing.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Ethical

    10. Is honesty the best policy?

      How to Answer

      As a recruiter or staffing professional, you will encounter gray areas, including pay structures, fee structures, rules governing contract employees, and non-compete or non-disclosure agreements. It's vital to the reputation of Robert Half that you abide by rules and regulations carefully, always working within the ethical lines of recruitment.

      Your response can also include how honest you are with candidates regarding your clients' needs. You could also mention your transparency when closing off with candidates not chosen for the job.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Ethical

    11. Would you take a job order from a client who was acting unethically?

      How to Answer

      Responsible staffing agencies like Robert Half need to protect their reputation, including prescreening clients in various ways. A smart recruiter will look for a history of unexplained employee turnover, previous sexual harassment accusations, stories of discrimination, poor health and safety records, and consistently lousy employee reviews. When meeting with a client for the first time and they brag about burning through multiple staffing agencies, this is a definite warning sign. Show the interviewer that you will never put the reputation of Robert Half on the line to land a job order.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    12. What is a staffing agency?

      How to Answer

      This question may seem as fundamental as they get, but the interviewer needs to know that you understand how staffing works. Staffing is a misunderstood industry. It will be part of your role to add clarification for clients and candidates who may not fully comprehend what you do. Briefly describe to the hiring authority what a staffing agency is, including who they help, and their primary purpose.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    13. In which categories does Robert Half recruit?

      How to Answer

      The hiring authority at Robert Half needs to be sure that you have done your homework on their organization before attending your interview.

      To find out the categories where Robert Half recruits, begin by looking at their website. From here, you will see the job postings, areas of specialization, and information about the industries or clients they serve. You can also read the information on their blog or look for customer reviews. In your response, list 3-5 industries from your research.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    14. How does artificial intelligence impact talent sourcing?

      How to Answer

      Artificial intelligence (AI) made its splash on the staffing scene many years ago, introducing ATS or applicant tracking systems. Today, AI is becoming smarter and more robust, making it easier to source and screen the best candidates. Talk to the interviewer about the ways you have seen AI change talent sourcing strategy.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    15. Of the areas where Robert Half recruits, which are you most knowledgeable?

      How to Answer

      As a recruiter, it's impossible to be an expert in every job category. However, if you have worked as a generalist in the recruitment industry, you know that it's possible to have a few favorites where your performance shines!

      Discuss which job categories you believe you are the most knowledgeable and why you are most comfortable in these categories.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    16. What type of clients come to Robert Half for our staffing services?

      How to Answer

      Robert Half helps a plethora of clients, from small businesses to enterprise-level companies. Check out the company website to look for client information and any other indicator of whom their clients might be. You should also become familiar with any career fields or services they specialize in. The most important factor with this question is to show that you have done your research on Robert Half before attending your interview.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on August 14th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    17. Name some reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temp.

      How to Answer

      Although it may seem strange to some people, there are many reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temporary employee. From the beginning of their career into retirement age, job seekers can all enjoy the perks of temp work. Some of these benefits include:

      Flexibility - As a temp worker, you can agree to accept or turn down work at your leisure. For retired folks who travel a lot, temp work is excellent for seasonal needs.
      Time - Temp workers can earn money as contractors until they find the right permanent opportunity.
      Compliance - Compliance with work restrictions. Temp opportunities are often better for people waiting on permanent residency or citizenship who may have federal work restrictions.
      Resume expansion - Temp offers job seekers the opportunity to learn new skills in various settings, expanding their resume.
      Access to employers - Temps are often offered a permanent position after completing their assignment if the hiring authorities are impressed with their performance.

      Discuss with the interviewer why you believe some candidates would prefer to take on temporary assignments.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    18. How does a staffing agency charge a job seeker for their services?

      How to Answer

      This one may be a trick question! Legitimate staffing agencies never charge job seekers for placement services. That's right; every placement fee paid to a staffing agency is from the hiring company.

      In many countries such as Canada, it is illegal for a recruitment or staffing agency to charge candidates for job placements. However, these regulations do not include fees for resume writing or career coaching. The bottom line is, a job seeker never pays money to be considered for an open position with a staffing agency or their clients. In your response, be sure to convey your understanding of fees for the client and not the job seeker.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    19. What is the difference between temporary, temporary-to-permanent, and permanent placement?

      How to Answer

      Temp, temp-to-perm, and perm are recruitment and staffing terms that you will hear daily while working for Robert Half.

      Working temp means that a contractor is on a temporary contract with the staffing agency to work for their client for a specific amount of time. Temp employees are paid directly from the staffing agency, and the agency then bills the client.

      Temp-to-perm is a temporary contract with an opportunity for the contractor to be hired full-time once their work performance is proven.

      Perm or permanent placement is when candidates undergo a traditional screening and hiring process with the agency and their client. In the end, the hiring company makes a permanent job offer to the candidate.

      Take a few moments to share your knowledge with the interviewer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    20. Do you understand how Robert Half makes a profit?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you understand the fee structure at Robert Half or at least staffing agencies in general. Depending on your region, this response could vary as there are different rules and regulations surrounding staffing and recruitment around the world.

      For the most part, a staffing agency makes a profit in three ways:

      1. Permanent placement fees
      2. Temp fees
      3. Retainer based searches

      Permanent placement fees are usually a set percentage based on the ideal candidate's salary. Let's say that a staffing agency is asked to headhunt a chemical engineer. The staffing agency finds the perfect candidate, and that chemical engineer comes with an asking salary of $100K per year. The hiring company would pay (in addition to the $100K salary) a fee of 18-25% of that number as a permanent placement fee. This would be a one-time $18-25K fee.

      Temp fees are a surcharge in addition to a temporary employee or contractors' hourly wage. Assuming the same chemical engineer is working on a 12-month contract for an oil and gas company. The OG company does not want to add this engineer to their permanent payroll or pay the engineer's employment insurance and other government-required fees. The staffing agency will take on the role of 'employer' and charge the additional costs plus a commission to the OG company. Let's say the chemical engineer is asking for $40/hour. The staffing agency will charge the OG company $55/hour, giving $40 to the contractor and taking $15 as an administration fee and commission.

      A retainer is a fee that is paid in advance to secure the services of a staffing agency. Primarily retainers are only requested by high-end executive search firms who conduct long, complicated searches for talents such as surgeons, lawyers, professors, and CFOs. In this instance, the hiring company would pay a large sum upfront to the agency and then the remainder of their fee once the ideal candidate accepts a job offer.

      Chances are, Robert Half will be paid by perm or temp placement fees only. Speak to the interviewer briefly about fee structures, showing that you come from a place of full understanding.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Performance

    21. Tell me about the targets and goals in your current position. Do you have trouble meeting them?

      How to Answer

      Every staffing professional knows that there are targets and goals to meet within their agency. In temporary recruitment, these targets often relate to the speed at which you fill open job orders or the volume of work you get from your clients.

      In permanent staffing, goals can include the fees you have collected each quarter or how many job orders you brought in through cold calling efforts.

      Talk to the interviewer about the goals and targets in your current position. If you are unsure of the goals present in this role with Robert Half, it is certainly okay to ask.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Performance

    22. What will be your primary focus in your first 30 days with Robert Half?

      How to Answer

      There are many tasks and accomplishments that you can focus on when working in the staffing industry. This question is meant to uncover if you plan to make an impact on Robert Half shortly after being hired. Much of the staffing industry involves sales-based tasks, so it's a great idea to go into your interview with a strategic plan for your first 30 days and onward. Talk to the interviewer about your goals once you join Robert Half. You can also include your plan for becoming acclimated with Robert Half's processes, your team, and overall mission.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Performance

    23. What are some professional goals you have set for yourself this year?

      How to Answer

      Robert Half knows that only the most eager recruiters win job orders and make placements since the staffing industry is competitive and challenging. Show the interviewer that you have professional goals and are keen to make a name for yourself in the staffing industry.

      Professional goals can include earning a promotion, attending an industry conference to expand your network, learning about other industries, or taking additional courses to broaden your recruitment knowledge. They can also be based on increasing the number of candidates you place or clients you serve within a timeframe.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Performance

    24. How often do you check in with your candidates after placed in a permanent role with your client?

      How to Answer

      Many staffing agencies will have a schedule of events when checking in with candidates after placing them with a client. These check-ins are vital as they are meant to ensure that your candidate is happy with their new placement and that they are meeting performance expectations.

      Most staffing agencies offer a free replacement to their client, should a candidate not work out for the best within 90 days of their employment start. For this reason, it's best practice to have regular check-ins for the first 90 days and into the persons' first year. Show the interviewer that you understand the importance of this practice and that you are a diligent staffing professional.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Situational

    25. What type of office set up helps you to be the most productive?

      How to Answer

      Some recruitment firms offer individual offices, some a work-from-home environment, and others, a bullpen style set up. As a recruiter, you may hear the word "bullpen" often. This word is slang for a workspace area filled with desks and no separating walls. Everyone works together in an open space. Think 'Wolf of Wallstreet.'

      Talk to the interviewer about the type of work environment you prefer, being sure not to single yourself out by speaking negatively of one particular work style over another. Overall, the interviewer will be looking for your ability to concentrate and work well despite your outside surroundings.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Skills

    26. How do you stay current on changes in the recruitment field?

      How to Answer

      Robert Half has been able to continuously build its brand and expand into various industries by staying on top of the latest developments in recruitment. The recruiting specialists use their expertise with AI-based technology to find the best talent for their clients.

      The interviewer wants to know that you are aware of the latest developments and trends in recruiting. Explain how you stay current and learn new ways of recruiting and the technology that often comes with it.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on August 14th, 2021

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  • Skills

    27. Describe your communication skills.

      How to Answer

      As a recruiter, communication is key for building relationships with clients and candidates. You have to communicate expectations, win contracts, partner with clients, and collaborate with team members.

      Describe your communication skills to the interviewer and assure them you know the importance and impact of good written and verbal communication.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on August 14th, 2021

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  • Skills

    28. Tell me about your customer service experience.

      How to Answer

      Recruitment involves a great deal of customer service. When working with clients, candidates, and even other employees in your organization, it is likely that you will be providing customer service in some fashion. To maintain Robert Half's reputation, good customer service is key.

      Show the interviewer that you know what it takes to offer stellar customer service to everyone you work with. Share how you've done this in the past. Some examples might include:

      -Regular and clear communication with clients and candidates
      -Always being professional and pleasant
      -Being available and responsive
      -Providing an abundance of information to mitigate confusion

      Written by Ronda Barnes on August 14th, 2021

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  • Skills

    29. How do you determine job order priority?

      How to Answer

      Prioritizing job orders when you have multiple open requests at one time can be a tricky task. You may want to consider factors like:

      - The clients' preferred start date
      - The difficulty level of a search
      - Whether the search is exclusive
      - The candidate market in the role's location/region

      Show the interviewer that you will not have a problem sorting your job orders at Robert Half ensuring every client is taken care of promptly.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Skills

    30. Recruitment often requires out-of-the-box thinking. Are you creative by nature?

      How to Answer

      Being creative doesn't necessarily mean that you can paint like Picasso or write songs like Lady Gaga. What creativity means is being able to view and solve common issues in a unique way. Creativity can also include being willing to take a risk and change your perspective on a topic.

      Being creative is an essential skill as a recruiter since you will often need to look at your clients' needs and pain points in a completely new way. Understanding transferable and specialized skills can boost your recruitment creativity to find the best candidates. Creative sales tactics can help you win over clients. Assure the interviewer that you can use creative thinking to beat the competition, giving a work-related example.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Skills

    31. What advice would you give to a recent grad with no work experience?

      How to Answer

      Robert Half is all about empowering their candidates, which includes giving sound career and job-search advice to the candidates they work with. Talk to the hiring authority about the help you would give to a recent graduate with no work experience who needed to round out their resume. Your advice could be to volunteer more, add in some temporary work, take additional coursework, and more.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Skills

    32. How do you build trust and rapport with your clients?

      How to Answer

      For Robert Half, client relationships are everything. Excellent client service and strong relationships are what separate successful agencies from those who struggle. As a staffing professional, you know that anything is possible, from finding unicorn candidates to closing temp contracts in a matter of hours.

      Show the interviewer that you know what it takes to build strong client relationships. Your relationship-building activities can include asking your clients questions about themselves, showing them that you've taken time to understand their mission, setting clear expectations and guidelines at the start of every search, and learning their industry language. Exceptional follow-up is another way to build trust with your clients quickly.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Skills

    33. When scanning a resume for the first time, what do you look for?

      How to Answer

      Stats show that a recruiter will give a resume between seven and eleven seconds of their attention before moving on to another resume. Experts in the staffing industry know how to scan and screen a resume for the most critical information, so they can easily shortlist or disqualify.

      Working at Robert Half, chances are most of the resumes you will receive will first be screened by your applicant tracking system. Still, many more resumes will come through to your email. Show the interviewer that you know what to look for in a resume when you initially screen to ensure you won't miss out on the best talent for your clients.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 19th, 2021

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  • Team

    34. How would your co-workers describe you?

      How to Answer

      The purpose of this question is to find out how well you will work with the team at Robert Half and to learn a little more about your personality. This is important to know as you will also be working with people outside of the organization.

      By reading the content on Robert Half's website, you get a good understanding of its mission and company culture. Take the time to identify the values that align with your own and mention those in your response. But, be honest in your response. Share your co-workers' views of your skills, work ethic, teamwork, attitude, and professionalism.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on August 14th, 2021

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  • Team

    35. Would your clients say that you are trust-worthy?

      How to Answer

      At Robert Half, client relationships are important. And as a staffing professional, you understand that being trustworthy is one of the most important ways to develop a strong client relationship.

      Show the interviewer that you know what it takes to build trust with your clients. Your response might include activities such as learning your client's industry language, getting to know your client's company, and delivering promises.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on August 14th, 2021

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